English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Exhibits
  • Grade 11 ELA
  • Museums
  • Storytelling
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Exhibit Theme Analysis

    Exhibit Theme Analysis


    During this lesson, students will meet with their museum exhibit team to refine and develop their exhibit's theme. They will decide what stance they want to take on the issue of the Digital Native's relationship to technology.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
    • Decide how the annotated articles will be used in the exhibits.

    Essay Conclusion Share

    • Move from group to group to help students stay on task and work together productively. You can also help them find common ground between the ideas expressed in their essays.
      • SWD: Some students may struggle to listen and take notes simultaneously during the discussion. These students can share feedback verbally or work with someone within the group to record ideas.
    • Collect students' argument essays at the end of this activity.


    Meet with your team and take turns reading your essay conclusions aloud. As other students read, you should answer the following questions in your notes.

    • What conclusions does the writer draw in this essay?
    • With what do I agree?
    • What sounds familiar to my own argument’s conclusion?
    • With what do I disagree?
    • What parts of this conclusion are in opposition to my own argument’s conclusion?

    Open Notebook

    At the end of this activity, submit your argument essays to your teacher.

    Exhibit Theme Development

    • Move from group to group to help students stay on task and work together productively.

    Work Time

    Still in your team grouping, discuss your notes, connecting the papers you’ve written to the exhibit you’re planning.

    Use these questions to guide your discussion.

    • How do the various points made throughout the conclusions work together to form a cohesive argument?
    • What are the common points in your argument?

    Open Notebook

    Exhibit Artifact Gathering

    • Help students move methodically through the criteria for the museum exhibit as they search through their individual work from this unit to look for ideas.

    Work Time

    Together, review the criteria for the exhibit.

    Make a list of ideas from your individual work in this unit so far that you could use in your exhibit.

    Consider the questions below as you make your list.

    • Did you take a photo that might go into the exhibit?
    • Did you write an allegory that might make a good artifact?
    • Did you write anything in your notes that you can use in a placard?
    • What from your personal work is worth borrowing for your team’s exhibit?

    Open Notebook

    Exhibit Work Plan Update

    • Students' work plan updates will allow you to check in with them more easily.
      • ELL: You can allow time for ELLs to discuss and organize their thoughts with a partner before writing their work plans. ELLs who share the same primary language may benefit from using that language when working together.
    • By reviewing each student's plan as you circulate around the room, you can help keep them productive, and you can also engage in fruitful conversations about how to make effective plans that really work.

    Work Time

    Revisit your plan for what each member will do during the work session in the next lesson. Consider changes you might make now that you have a clearer focus for the theme of your exhibit.

    Update your work plan. Don’t forget to make sure it still covers all of these criteria.

    • Will you work together with other students? Whom?
    • What do you plan to accomplish in the work session?
    • What do you think will be the hardest element of the tasks you’re setting for yourself? Why?
    • What do you think will be the easiest element of the tasks you’re setting for yourself? Why?

    Open Notebook

    When you are finished, share your updated work plan with your teacher.

    Article Selection and Annotation

    • Help students continue their shift to more and more independence in the research process, but be prepared for students who don't hold themselves accountable.
    • Let students know how their annotated articles will be used in the exhibits.
      • ELL: You can modify your requirements for ELLs who have difficulties reading and annotating. These students can be responsible for one article rather than two or complete their annotations with a partner or with you.


    Each member of the museum exhibit team is responsible for selecting and annotating two articles for the exhibit.

    • With the time that remains, begin the process of selecting a second article to read and annotate as part of your exhibit.

    You Have a Choice
    Determine how you will approach the work:

    You can choose to work independently, work with a partner, work with a group, or confer with the teacher.


    • Let students know if you want them to share their Notebook entries with you after they complete the homework.
      • SWD: You can give students the opportunity to check in with you one-on-one instead of sharing a Notebook entry if they are more comfortable expressing themselves in spoken language.


    • For homework, either continue working on researching and annotating or choose an aspect of your artifact or exhibit to work on.
    • Either way, write an entry in your Notebook that explains what you worked on and what your next steps are.

    Open Notebook